Panama Foreigners Under Protection of the State (Refugees)

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POLS can assist Refugees with applying for Protection of the State Visas (Refugees).

The standards of processing people benefiting from the provisional humane statute of
protection should be according to the American Convention on Human Rights, and other international instruments ratified by the Republic of Panama.

Applicants as Panama refugees admitted through the National Office for the Attention of the Refugees (ONPAR) or that have presented their request of Panama refugee and are in the process, while their situation lasts will not be refused at the border and not sanctioned for illegal or irregular means, while the Panamanian State decides whether to provide them permanent settlement in its territory as refugees.

Panama Refugees that have not been recognized, will not have to pay a fine.

The National Office for the Attention of the Refugees (ONPAR) will perform the periodic registration of people that enter the country in search of protection as refugees and the documentation of those refugees that is benefited by the collective decision of their condition of “protected provisionally for humane reasons” and will periodically send said information to the National Service of Immigration.

The ID card of the Panama refugees, inmates, and stateless persons will be renewed by the National Service of Immigration, when the National Office for the Attention of the Refugees (ONPAR) (in the case of refugees and stateless) or the Department of Foreign Affairs (in the case of the inmates), sends the pertinent request.

They will be able to apply exemptions for Panama refugees, inmates and stateless that due to their vulnerability, cannot cover the cost of the card.  Said vulnerability will be properly certified by the National Office for the Attention of the Refugees (ONPAR) for the case of the refugees and stateless, and Department of Foreign Affairs for the case of the inmates.

Once the Panama refugee receives the certification that accredits the condition of refugee, stateless, or inmate, the National Service of Immigration, will open an individual file that will include the following things (for the applicant and their dependents) :

1. Passport or document that shows their identity, (if applicable). In the event that the applicant cannot present some those documents, affidavit of their identity will be received;

2. Certification of the National Office for the Attention of the Refugees (ONPAR) in case of refugees or stateless and certification of the Department of Foreign Affairs in the case of inmates;

3. Fingerprints.

4. Two (2) photographs.

The Panama refugees, inmates and stateless have the obligation, besides what is established in the conventions, protocols, international statutes, the Political Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Panama, of the following things:

a. To obey the laws and regulations of the country and to respect the law and order;
b. To obey the decisions of the National Commission of Protection for Refugees and those of the Department of Foreign Affairs;
c. To maintain in every moment a harmonious and appropriate conduct with the morale and good customs in the Republic of Panama;
d. Carrying at all times their ID card as the applicant of refuge, inmate or stateless;
e. To inform National Office for the Attention of the Refugees (ONPAR) and to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the location of their residence and work, as well as any change that occur in these.
f. To report to the National Office for the Attention of the Refugees (ONPAR) and to the Department of Foreign Affairs, immediately, in case of loss or robbery of their ID card;
g. ThePanama refugees, inmates, and stateless enjoy the rights and guarantees in effect of the applicable laws.

The right is recognized for the Panama refugee, inmate, or stateless to be reunified with their immediate family.  The National Office for the Attention of the Refugees (ONPAR) will be able to consider exceptions to this criterion by reasons of vulnerability, dependence, or humanitarianism.

The Panama refugees and inmates that have ten or more years with legal status living here and declare their intention to reside in the territory of the Republic of Panama will be able to apply for a permanent residence permit, just as the Law 25 of May 9, 2008 establishes.  This it is not extensive to those who have renounced the condition of refugee or inmate, according to the dispositions in force.

The applicant and their dependents that have the status of Panama refugee or inmate, so that they can request the permanent residence permit must submit the following documents:

1. Resolution that the status of refugee they and their dependents possess are properly authenticated by the National Office for the Attention of the Refugees (ONPAR), in which the period should be evident during which they have qualified for this status and in the case of inmates, the resolution they offer for them and their dependents, properly authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs;

2. Original of the card in effect that accredits their status;

3. Police record from the Republic of Panama;

4. Two (2) photos.


If you are interested in relocating to Panama, or obtaining legal residency in Panama, please contact us for a personal consultation with POLS along with a quote for our Refugee Visa services.


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